Mills St siding, Middle Park

 
  Peter Spyker Train Controller


What's the history of the Mills St siding in Middle Park (between where route 112 turns into Park St, and the beach)?

Has it ever been used for a regular route, other than diversions of route 112?

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  jakar Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne



What's the history of the Mills St siding in Middle Park (between where route 112 turns into Park St, and the beach)?

Has it ever been used for a regular route, other than diversions of route 112?

"Peter Spyker"


Peter I can't help with any history, but for clarification are you referring to the continuation of the track in Mills St towards the beach at the corner of Mills and Danks streets?

  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere

The short length from Mills & Danks to Beaconsfield Parade is generally known as "Mills St. siding" although trams terminating there show(ed) the destination "Middle Park Beach" or "Albert Park Beach" depending on what was on the board / flaps / roll or is programmed into the electronic display these days.

There is no regular use of that section; it is used to short-shunt trams running typically between 10 - 20 minutes late. Less than 10 minutes delay can usually be caught up (or the tram returned within 2-3 minutes of right time) at the normal St Kilda terminus and arrears greater than 20 minutes can be dealt with by a short-shunt at Albert Park (South Melbourne loop) on Albert Street.

There was no short-shunt route number assigned to trams using this siding under the general numbering scheme in use until very recently but today they should show 112a.   No unique number has ever been assigned to the stop there which also has had no stop flag for much of its existence perhaps to dissuade any casual passengers from hopefully waiting for a tram there.

The route opened throughout on October 31st 1925 as a double-track electric tramway so this siding was never the consequence of an extension to an earlier route. It was a siding built as such from day one and thus never has had a scheduled service.

  route14 Chief Commissioner

    Once I caught a B class tram showing "ALBERT PK BEACH".  I have never travelled on the section of track beyond Mills & Danks St. so I asked the driver whether I could stay onboard to the shunt.  The driver agreed, but a few stops later FOC called the driver not to make the short shunt.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere

Unlucky. It's use is very sporadic and cannot be predicted. If FOC cancelled the short-shunt chances are the tram was around 10 - 12 minutes late and they either had a gap in the service ahead of it which needed filling or felt it could return from St. Kilda close enough to right time. It's easy to regain a few minutes along that route as it's very quiet south of Clarendon Street.

I have only managed to travel down there twice. If a tram shows that as its destination there should be no argument about passengers being allowed to remain on to the final stop - it's a siding but not one where trams must remain out of service such as Brunswick Street siding.

If you were lucky enough to chance upon a tram waiting there to return to the city you should also be allowed to board.

  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong



Unlucky. It's use is very sporadic and cannot be predicted. If FOC cancelled the short-shunt chances are the tram was around 10 - 12 minutes late and they either had a gap in the service ahead of it which needed filling or felt it could return from St. Kilda close enough to right time. It's easy to regain a few minutes along that route as it's very quiet south of Clarendon Street.

I have only managed to travel down there twice. If a tram shows that as its destination there should be no argument about passengers being allowed to remain on to the final stop - it's a siding but not one where trams must remain out of service such as Brunswick Street siding.

If you were lucky enough to chance upon a tram waiting there to return to the city you should also be allowed to board.

"Gwiwer"
I guess it depends on if there is an actual tram stop at the very end of the track in Mills St. or not. I havent been past this section of track in years.
I know buses these days are not allowed to pick up / drop off passengers at places other than desginated bus stops, so I assume that this would also be the case with trams and whether there is a designated tram stop or not.

  route14 Chief Commissioner

    Well, this location itself is a quiet spot, and the driver has to open the door anyway to change the single blade point, so I suppose no one would bother refusing intending passengers.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere

It's a tram stop at the end of a siding.  In that respect it differs to many other locations where there is a separate stop designated as the terminus and starting point.   The unique destination as displayed of Albert / Middle Park Beach does not apply to any other stop including Mills / Danks which is not (quite) at the beach.

I can think of no other location where a tram shows a destination to which it cannot take passengers.  Several are rather misleading (such as "Camberwell - Burke Road" on the 72 which is exactly the same spot as "Deepdene" on the 109) but in all cases including Mills St siding a tram takes passengers to and from its advertised destination.

  Peter Spyker Train Controller

Thanks for the info, everyone.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong



It's a tram stop at the end of a siding. In that respect it differs to many other locations where there is a separate stop designated as the terminus and starting point. The unique destination as displayed of Albert / Middle Park Beach does not apply to any other stop including Mills / Danks which is not (quite) at the beach.


I can think of no other location where a tram shows a destination to which it cannot take passengers. Several are rather misleading (such as "Camberwell - Burke Road" on the 72 which is exactly the same spot as "Deepdene" on the 109) but in all cases including Mills St siding a tram takes passengers to and from its advertised destination.

"Gwiwer"
I thought about it, possibly the only destination where pax can't be taken to are the destinations that end in '...depot', such as 'Southbank Depot', or 'Camberwell Depot'. As far as know, any passengers are offloaded at the nearest tram stop to the depot, or indeed at the very least, the front entrance to the depot. I seem to remember catching the odd tram that ran as far as Malvern Depot, and being off loaded in Glenferrie Road outside the depot.

But I'm from Geelong, so what would I know!!!! Laughing
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere

But I'm from Geelong, so what would I know!!!!



With respect Sir you have demonstrated over the years that you know quite a lot!

Each depot has its own adjacent tram stop all of which are closer to the depot itself than the Mills St siding stop is to its neighbour at Danks St..

  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
Malvern is a quirky one though - some times trams will offload passengers on Glenferrie road, other times drivers are happy to pull into Coldblo road and offload passengers just before pulling into the depot
  route14 Chief Commissioner




Malvern is a quirky one though - some times trams will offload passengers on Glenferrie road, other times drivers are happy to pull into Coldblo road and offload passengers just before pulling into the depot

"AzN_dj"

    Either is correct, especially on the southbound track.  The official stop for Malvern Depot is between the facing and trailing points in front of the depot, so you are not stopped at a designated passenger stop anyway regardless of whether you open the doors in Glenferrie Rd. or after turning right.  A small number of pedantic drivers would make Malvern Town Hall as the last stop to get around this issue, but if you ask nicely there is no problem taking you to the front of the depot.  An even smaller number of drivers (possibly only 1) would set down all passengers before turning into Glenferrie Rd. (on routes other than route 16) and refuse to take passengers any further, insisting the tram is out of service past that point.  This is actually against the rule that depot cars must convey passengers.

  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere

the rule that depot cars must convey passengers.



Unless instructed otherwise that is always the case - a tram is in service until the last stop before entering the depot limits, not the last stop on its normal line of route (if different).

There are drivers who choose to disregard this and inconvenience passengers but they are relatively few and far between. And what chance the one "rogue" driver being on your particular tram anyway?

I have - even as a member of staff on duty - been asked to step off a Southbank Depot route 96 car-in at Normanby Road (Port Junction) rather than the depot stop just beyond which should have been allowed. I have also been allowed to remain on board to Montague when the car-in move was to be made (uncommonly) via the crossover and the west gate.

It cuts both ways at times.

For the gunzels out there it is possible to travel from West Coburg to Essendon Depot and you should not be asked to leave the tram while it shunts over at North Melbourne meaning you can legitimately travel over that shunt in service. The same applies to Footscray - Essendon Depot cars shunting at Moonee Ponds.

The same rule means there should be no argument about being allowed to travel to or from the beach at Mills Street.

  route14 Chief Commissioner

    You are quite right, drivers do have varied attitude towards passengers on depot runs.  In that particular case I was asked to alight at Glenferrie & Malvern Rds on a car-in trip from Camberwell, but I asked for a ride to Malvern Depot.  The driver refused, insisting "the tram is OUT OF SERVICE once it crosses THIS POINT".  (At that time there was no left turn curve from Camberwell.) She requested FOC to call the police, but FOC made the AVM announcement instead: Fleet Operations to the passenger on tram xx, Rules and regulations state that trams are not permitted to take passengers while shunting.  You can reboard the tram once it completes shunting.  According to your post this announcement itself is not supported by the rules, but I alighted and walked to the down stop anyway.  The driver didn't stop, which you might have guessed, skipping the compulsory stop at the facing point by the same token.  (This is a discussion about depot cars conveying passengers.  It should not be interpreted as personal attack towards drivers who do skip compulsory stops)
    I have also been refused by a depot car to Glenhuntly Depot at Luna Park, a depot car to Kew Depot at Box Hill.  A car-out run to Domain Rd. didn't stop for me at the stop between Racecourse Rd. & Abbotsford St., waiving to indicate his refusal while passing the stop.
    Those were a few extreme cases.  The reason why drivers are reluctant in carrying passengers when carring in (and sometimes carring out) could be the difficulty in clearing passengers in front of the depot, confrontation by confused passengers after turning off the regular route if applicable, or h/she just wants to clock off or have meal break as early as possible.  In most cases if you tell the driver you know exactly where the tram goes and which route it takes you are more than likely to be allowed onboard. (The problem is such communication is not always easy when you are outside the tram) Some nice drivers would even invite through passengers to board the depot car if the depot is located on shared section of track, telling them they have more choices there.
  gxh Junior Train Controller

Location: SE suburbs
Malvern is a quirky one though - some times trams will offload passengers on Glenferrie road, other times drivers are happy to pull into Coldblo road and offload passengers just before pulling into the depot
AzN_dj
From just a few occasional observations, when an in-service route 16 tram is being changed over at Malvern (as sometimes occurs), it seems usual for the passengers to be offloaded in Coldblo Rd and then reboard the replacement also in Coldblo Rd.   This seems realistic.  I once would have said that there wasn't any logical alternative, although the distance that I understand passengers have been required to walk around the Domain Interchange works seems to have set new standards!
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
From just a few occasional observations, when an in-service route 16 tram is being changed over at Malvern (as sometimes occurs), it seems usual for the passengers to be offloaded in Coldblo Rd and then reboard the replacement also in Coldblo Rd.   This seems realistic.  I once would have said that there wasn't any logical alternative, although the distance that I understand passengers have been required to walk around the Domain Interchange works seems to have set new standards!
gxh
Speaking of the Domain Interchange works, and the way that they are managing the passenger changeover between the temporary north and south terminuses. The walk is only really not much more than five minutes, and there is no real practical way they could have run a bustitution given the available roads and the relatively short distance between the active tram stops.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Speaking of the Domain Interchange works, and the way that they are managing the passenger changeover between the temporary north and south terminuses. The walk is only really not much more than five minutes, and there is no real practical way they could have run a bustitution given the available roads and the relatively short distance between the active tram stops.
jdekorte

Changeover often takes place within the depot yard wherever possible.  If the track configuration permits the most common way is that both trams open the right side doors for passengers to walk across.  At Malvern because the entrance is a single track so the best way would be for the relieved tram to open the right doors to set down passengers before going to the yard, then the changeover tram comes to the single track and open the left doors to pick up passengers.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I suspect the reason this doesn't always happen at Malvern is because of the potential congestion around the throat.  Being one of the larger and busier depots a changeover car can potentially block one or more others even if it is only stationary for a couple of minutes.

Preston changes over for Bundoora-bound trams as described but on Plenty Road for City-bound involving a walk-forward for passengers.  Southbank changes over at Normanby Road (Port Junction) on the 96 and sometimes the 109 / 112 when they have to.  Otherwise the 112 is changed over at the World Trade Centre and the 109 normally at Kew.  Glenhuntly changes over in the street because of the longer single-track lead to the depot which again causes problems if a tram has to stand there.  Brunswick changes over in Sydney Road for the 19 in most cases as it costs time to run in and out via the depot throat.  Kew works the same way as Preston for the 109 and changes over for the 48 at the back gate.  Camberwell will often change over in the throat both ways.  Essendon is the one I'm not familiar with but on its restricted site I suspect changeovers (which are known and are referred to on the radio network as a T/A for "Traffic Alteration") are done on-street there also.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Changeover at Preston for route 86 happens inside the depot both ways.  I'm quite sure about that.  For route 19 I experienced only one changeover, which took place in front of the depot.  That is the only time I travelled by tram beyond the Moreland stop.  If they change-over at Brunswick there is a difficulty in timing.  If one tram arrives too early it would block the road traffic.

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